Tasting Margarita Mixes for National Margarita Day, So You Won't Have To
If you're a margarita purist you'll undoubtedly mark today's holiday with freshly squeezed citrus and a bottle of your finest pure agave. While I'm firm devote of the au naturel camp, my editor has informed me that not everyone wants to spend their time sifting seeds out of their fruit juice and dealing with pulp. (Pulp!)
Yes, I get it. Some people just want to make a drink as quickly as possible. So I went out and bought six different margarita mixes to see how they stacked up against simple lemon juice. I tasted each of them alone without tequila so I could taste the flavors each brings to our most cherished cocktail.
I was surprised to find a few of them were actually tolerable.
First three ingredients: water, sugar, citric acid.
Most questionable ingredient: blue 1.
Suaza's mix is tinged a light green color that may or may not glow under a black light. It smells a little like bathroom cleaner mixed with Country Time lemonade and tastes simultaneously sweet and tart. It's not at all good.
First three ingredients: water, high fructose corn syrup, lime juice from concentrate.
Most questionable ingredient: ester gum.
The front of the label says it's made with premium lemon and lime juice and agave nectar but it has the same synthetic sweet and tart flavors that dominates ... well, Sweet Tarts. This one pretty much taste like crushed up Smarties. It's also the color of a highlighter I used in my econ books.
First three ingredients: filtered water, organic agave syrup, sugar
Most questionable ingredient: ascorbic acid
I love truth in labeling and this one really does smell like Key lime pie. Actually it tastes a little like Key lime pie too. This mix is very sweet, but the citrus flavors are at the forefront. This is by far the best mix I tried. At $14.95 it's the most expensive, too.